Swedish Vallhund

Swedish Shepherd, Vastgötaspets, Visigoth Spitz

Despite his many qualities, the Swedish Vallhund is not well known outside Sweden. Used as a companion, alarm and even guard dog, despite his size, this dog can protect his family and their property. However, it is difficult to find him outside of Sweden.

Height 30 to 35 cm
Weight 9 to 14 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 13 years
Hair Loss High
Excercise Need High
Home country Sweden

Quick Overview of the Swedish Vallhund


  • Patient and gentle
  • Nice and close to his family
  • Independent and alert
  • Lively and vigilant


  • Short on legs
  • Powerful build
  • Energetic look
  • Tight and hard coat


  • Robust and rarely ill
  • Fragile back
  • No particular pathology

Temperament of the Swedish Vallhund

Patient, gentle, kind and close to his family, the Swedish Vallhund is also independent, alert, lively and very vigilant.

This little dog is quite brave, making him an excellent guardian that stops at nothing.

His education is easy because he is receptive, intelligent and intuitive, but it must be firm to control his well tempered character.

Previously used as a sheepdog, he has had to adapt to the gradual disappearance of this once popular profession.

Having swapped his sheepdog skills for those of companionship, he is now an excellent companion dog.

Very close and kind to his family, he appreciates all members, even the smallest.

He is compatible with children without any problem and loves to participate in their games. He is patient and tolerant with all children.

His instinct as a protector of herds has remained and he is always suspicious when a stranger approaches, he will not hesitate to bite his heels if he penetrates in his territory. He is vigilant and very brave despite his small size.

He loves his family but can fight with his peers. His education must therefore teach him to socialize very early with other dogs.

His strong temperament must be controlled by a firm education, which is generally quite easy as he is intelligent and receptive by nature.

He can live just about anywhere and with anyone. His size and character make him a dog that can adapt to all types of owners.

spitz des wisigoths personnalité

Breed Appearance

Despite his size and the fact that he is rather short on legs, this dog is powerful and energetic. His eyes show his vitality and reactivity.

He is always on the lookout and is very brave when needed.


Between 31 and 35 cm (12.20 to 13.78 inches) for the male
Between 30 and 33 cm (11.81 to 12.99 inches) for the female


Between 9 and 14 kg (19.84 to 30.86 pounds) for the male
Between 9 and 14 kg (19.84 to 30.86 pounds) for the female


The coat color is most often grey, grey-brown, grey yellow or slightly darker brown on the back, sides of the body and neck.

It is possible to find white either on the collar or in spots on the chest and limbs.


His dense, harsh coat is medium length, and has the particularity of being waterproof. The coat also has a dense and very soft undercoat.


His head, with an almost flat skull, has a well marked stop. His dark brown eyes are oval and medium size.

His medium size pointed ears are carried erect. His nose is jet black. His tail may be short or long.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 5, section 3 and is #14

Characteristics of the Swedish Vallhund

Does this dog suit your lifestyle?

Every dog breed has its own characteristics. However, the actual character of a dog can vary from one to another within the same breed.

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Life in an apartment
Good first dog
Tolerates solitude
Tolerates cold weather
Tolerates hot weather
Friendly with children
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other animals
Hair loss
Drooling level
Easy to care for
Robust health
Easy to train
Tendency to bark
Tendency to nibble
Instinct to hunt
Adventurous spirit
Energy level
Level of intensity
Need for exercise

Health of the Swedish Vallhund

Despite his small size, the Swedish Vallhund is very robust and rarely gets sick.

His back is more fragile, and sudden movements should be monitored, but no pathology affects him, and he generally enjoys good health.

If you take care of his back, he can enjoy a long life.


The Swedish Vallhund is relatively easy to maintain.

A good brushing from time to time ensures a healthy coat and requires little maintenance time.

No further maintenance is necessary.

History of this breed

His true origins are not officially recognized, but everything seems to prove that the breed developed in Sweden in a distant time.

Nevertheless, the Swedish Vallund is nowadays considered an authentic Swedish breed.

His resemblance to the Welsh Corgi, which comes from England, is obvious, but the relationship with the latter is not really clear. It is possible that this kind of Spitz was brought back from England by the Vikings, even though nothing is official on this side either. It is therefore officially recognized as a Swedish breed.

Björn von Rosen registered this dog as a Swedish breed. Count von Rosen noticed a specimen in the early 1940's in the vicinity of the town of Vara in the Västergötland region when he made an inventory of the dogs present at that time.

He discovered a small but homogenous dog population there. Serious breeding followed this discovery, which was then carried out by school director K.G. Zettersten, who, following the success of his efforts, succeeded in having the breed officially recognized in 1953 by the Swedish FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale).

Great Britain discovered this dog in 1974 and he was then received by the American Kennel Club in 1996. He is also known by the more popular name of Visigoth Spitz.

He was created at the time for herding but he swapped these skills to take on the new function, in which he excels today, of companion dog.

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